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2022 5-9 CG Ta’Niya Latson – Westlake
One of the best athletes in the entire nation, Ta’Niya Latson and Raven Johnson form possibly the best backcourt in the country. The two toyed with Forest Park in their 70-34 destruction of the Panthers. Their activity and ability to turn live ball turnovers into points is incredible. Westlake sit in a 2-3 zone but Latson and Johnson make it feel like a full court press. The duo takes turns earning deflections and scoring on fast breaks. Latson has elite speed and lives in transition. She gets a vast majority of her points on layups. Latson has enough creativity with the ball to shake her defender and then elevate over rim protectors to finish. She’s one of the best scorers at the rim there is. Her outside shot and ability to score in the half court have been potential question marks, but on Monday she was able to knock down the mid-range shot and hit the open three. As those two areas of her game get better and better the more complete of an offensive player she will become. But when you’re as good as Latson is at getting to the rim, the vast majority of the time her outside shot isn’t even needed. She poured in 29 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals in three quarters.

2021 5-10 PG Raven Johnson – Westlake
The length, IQ and activity of Raven Johnson was the key factor in shutting down Forest Park. The South Carolina-signee was everywhere on defense. Known as a lockdown on-ball defender, Johnson used her instincts and quickness to deflect passes and pick up steals to ignite fast breaks from Westlake’s 2-3 zone. The Lions are dominant in transition. Teams have to sprint four players back on defense every time a shot goes up. No one can compete with Johnson and Ta’Niya Latson when it comes to fast break offense. Johnson earns a handful of assists on her steals atop the zone, pitching ahead for Latson to streak down the court and lay up. The Queen of the GHSA got busy on offense as well. She hit tough mid-range jumpers off the dribble with hands in her face. Johnson’s ability to score equally as effective at all three levels and her court vision make her impossible to stop at the high school level.  Raven finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals in three quarters. We are witnessing history; arguably the most impressive dynasty ever in the GHSA led by Johnson, who has never lost to a school from Georgia over the course of her career. Winners of 101-straight in the Peach State, I can’t foresee anyone challenging Westlake in their quest for a four-peat. In the state’s toughest classification in recent memory, only COVID-19 could pose a threat at slowing down the Lions.

2023 5-6 PG Crystal Henderson – Kell
Instead of pouring in her customary 20+ points, Crystal Henderson played the role of facilitator in Kell’s 58-44 win over ELCA. Henderson finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Pound-for-pound the best scorer in Georgia, Henderson’s electric play makes Kell one of the best teams in the state. She’s got limitless range and can catch fire quickly. She’s a shifty playmaker that can make the tough pass. Her size may scare off some programs, but Henderson is a no-brainer D-I guard and one of the best players in 2023.

2021 5-8 SG Sylvia Kahoro – Kell
The beneficiary of Crystal Henderson’s passing? Sylvia Kahoro. A rotational player a year ago, Kahoro’s role has increased tenfold, making her invaluable to Kell’s success. She’s a three-point specialist that spaces the floor and gives Henderson room to work. Kahoro is a solid ball handler, but she’s not known for her playmaking or slashing. Having an elite skill like shooting will put her on college radars. She netted 6 threes and finished with 20 points and 2 rebounds. Schools looking for a plug-and-play knockdown shooter will want to check in with Kahoro. She’s blossomed into one of the very best floor stretchers in Georgia.

2023 5-10 F Jada Green – Kell
Jada Green’s versatility really impressed me vs. ELCA. Standing around 5-foot-10, the energy of Green was apparent. She had a nose for the ball and found herself involved in almost every play. Not only did she score around the rim, but she got to the basket using a eurostep. She competed at a high level on the glass and flew around on defense, able to help defend multiple spots. Green finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals and 3 blocks.

2021 5-7 PG Cortney Gardner – Luella
Last Friday Cortney Gardner committed to Coppin State. On Monday, Gardner put on a show in Luella’s 59-39 win over Griffin. The southpaw is a shifty quick guard that makes plays off the bounce. She gets into the lane with ease and can pro-hop horizontally to avoid the defense. Gardner creates space on the perimeter with step backs and can score with either hand at the rim as a skilled finisher. She gets the Lions off and running and sets the tone with her pace of play. She’s dynamic in the backcourt.

2023 6-1 F Ariana Dyson – Luella
D-I schools don’t want to want too long on Ari Dyson. I targeted her as a breakout candidate back in July and she hasn’t let me down. At her size, her skillset is unique. She can be a bruising post when needed, able to clean the glass at a high level and score inside, but Dyson is also capable of going coast-to-coast and finishing like a guard. Dyson’s versatility helps her play a variety of positions. Her footspeed makes her a mismatch when pulling out opposing bigs to the perimeter or when facing up downlow. On Monday she impressed me with her passing. Dyson is patient and lets plays develop before delivering dimes over the defense to open cutters. If she is able to stretch her range out to the three-point line, she may be able to see more minutes on the perimeter in her future, but I like how effective she is inside the arc with her power around the rim. She finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks.

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Cayla Cowart2022 5-10 CG Cayla Cowart – West Forsyth
Cayla Cowart shined again, this time leading the Wolverines to a 49-43 victory over a shorthanded Archer team. Cowart’s blow-up season continued, pouring in 24 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 steals and 1 block. She has been one of the most consistent guards in the state and it’s her ability to impact games aside from scoring that makes her special. Cowart plays with tremendous energy and has an uncanny nose for the ball. Couple those traits with her athleticism and she’s able to crash the glass effectively and wreak havoc with her quick hands on defense.  Cowart is a premier slasher that finishes with both hands. Her outside shot still needs work. She tends to push the ball flat instead of getting under it and shooting the ball up, but it is fixable and she has been taking 500 shots a day to shore up her one perceived weakness. Off the dribble, Cowart is a playmaker. She sees the floor well and can fit in tough passes to open teammates. When she gets all the way to the basket, all defenders can do is foul her. She struggled from the line going 6-15, but her relentless attack keeps pressure on the defense and opens up clean looks for perimeter shooters. She is shaping up to be a D-I player. D-II schools should stop waiting and offer her as quickly as possible before the rest of the state takes notice of her high-level skill.

 

Chloe Sterling2022 5-7 PG Chloe Sterling – Marietta
The effortless ability of how Chloe Sterling can control games has taken Marietta to another level. Back in Georgia after living on a military base in Japan, Sterling is a dynamic playmaker with a smooth feel. The lefty is a nightmare in transition. Not only can she rush the ball down the floor and go coast-to-coast, but she can ignite fast breaks without a single dribble, using her elite outlet passing as she drills teammates in stride down the floor. Sterling snaps off accurate passes in the blink of an eye before defenders know what hit them. When the ball is in her hands, Chloe is shifty getting downhill. She can eurostep through the defense and finish in a variety of ways. Her three-point shot was locked-in against Dacula, casually draining 5 threes, hardly ever touching the rim. Her easy release off the dribble is pretty to watch. She tallied 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals in a 79-48 rout. Sterling should be on Mid-Major radars ASAP.

2021 6-1 F Janae Charles – Loganville
A blend of skill, size, IQ and mobility, Janae Charles is among the best post players left in the 2021 class. She doesn’t need to dominate scoring the ball to affect games. Charles is a smart passer and can handle the ball when needed. When teammates cut without the ball, Charles can see overtop the defense and deliver assists with pinpoint accuracy. Rockmart had no answer for her inside. Charles posted up hard and helped get Keyarah Berry in foul trouble. Janae converted every opportunity she had in the paint and used her length to rebound in traffic. She finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Gardner-Webb has shown interest.

2021 5-11 W Keyarah Berry – Rockmart
On the verge of being the all-time leading scorer in the state of Georgia, the Indiana-signee had her usual “wow” moments in a loss against Loganville. Keyarah Berry has overwhelmed opponents at the 2A and 3A level over the course of her career. She is unstoppable in transition, able to beat everyone down the floor and elevate for easy layups. Berry has developed her game into being more than just a freak athlete however. She has the deepest range in the state, able to pull up from 30-feet when needed. With her tremendous strength, she can fire away from well beyond the arc without losing much accuracy. Becoming a better playmaker will be an area of growth at the next level. Facing double and triple teams with a supporting cast that doesn’t have much firepower, Berry has had a heavy burden to carry her entire career. Playing with fellow D-I players will make life easier for her on the offensive side of the ball in college. She buried 4 threes and finished with 27 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 block in a 62-39 loss to Loganville, Berry scoring the first 17 points of the second half for the Yellowjackets.

De'Mauri Flournoy
2021 5-8 PG De’Mauri Flournoy – Carrollton
It was a dazzling display for De’Mauri Flournoy in Carrollton’s convincing 62-41 win over Newton. The Vanderbilt-signee can do it all. She’s not the most physically imposing guard in the state but aside from Raven Johnson and Kayla McPherson, she may be the most well-rounded and maybe most skilled. Flournoy is an elite three-point shooter that uses her range to help open up driving lanes. She has the ball on a string as she manipulates defenders before getting exactly what she wants. Flournoy is a complete player on offense. She can get into the lane and finish with floaters or tough layups. Flournoy is a playmaker that breaks down defenses and sets up teammates. She moves well without the ball and teamed up with Kehinde Obasuyi for a handful of backdoor cuts. De’Mauri’s quickness to every ball stood out. She snatched every long pass that was tried against Carrollton’s defense, playing a gold glove centerfield. Flournoy tallied 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 6 steals.

2024 5-8 PG Sanaa Tripp – Newton
The future – and even the present – is Sanaa Tripp. She’s a blue-chip guard that has a chance to be the best player in Georgia and one of the best in the nation. Tripp blends terrific athleticism with eyepopping skill. She’s great in transition, bursting out of the pack and using in-and-out dribbles and more to leave defenders in the dust. Tripp is a dangerous shooter as well. She stops and pops on a dime and has three-point range off the bounce. She knocked down 4 threes as she finished with 22 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals. Her lateral quickness makes her an above average defender that could cement herself as a lockdown guard. Tripp has the makings of becoming a High Major point guard.

2024 5-9 PG Danielle Carnegie – Rockdale County
An Essence Xtreme teammate of Sanaa Tripp, freshman Danielle Carnegie might not have the athleticism or flash of Tripp, but Carnegie’s skill and mature approach to the game has been invaluable for the Bulldogs. Carnegie always stays under control and is a true point guard that knows how to set the table for others while still finding the time to put up points. She does a nice job attacking the basket and keeping the defense off balance. She’s got a nice pull-up jumper and can float in buckets over shot blockers. Carnegie is active. Her well-rounded floor game led to 13 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals in a 72-66 loss to Grayson. With Danielle on the floor, Rockdale will always have a chance to win any game.